Bruce Soriano, Essex Catholic Fencing Legend, Inducted into the Columbia University Hall of Hall


On Thursday, October, 23, 2014, Bruce Soriano will be inducted into the Colulmbia University Athletic Hall of Fame in New York City.


In just three years on the fencing strip at Columbia, Bruce Soriano (Essex Catholic Class of 1968) not only made his mark on the Lions' fencing program, but on the national stage.

The sabre fencer became the only man to ever win the NCAA individual championship in both his sophomore and junior years when he accomplished the feat in 1971. A year later, he made history again he captured the national championship crown for the third straight season to become the first collegiate fencer to win three NCAA individual crowns. The three-peat accomplishment is also a first for Columbia, as Soriano remains the lone Lion to boast three individual NCAA Championship titles.


At Essex Catholic, under the direction of Dr. D'Ambola, Bruce Soriano led the Sabre Team to its fourth straight State Championship and won the individual title in the same year.


According to the Dictionary of New York Sports: 

Bruce Soriano (Fencing.  Born, Newark, NJ, April 30, 1950.)  Perhaps the most dominating man in his weapon ever in the N.C.A.A. fencing championships, Columbia’s Bruce Soriano became the first fencer in tournament history to win the national title three straight years in any weapon.  Soriano captured the sabre championship in 1970, 1971, and 1972, moving through the tournament in Chicago, Ill., with a 22-1 record in his senior year.  In 1971, he helped Columbia tie (with N.Y.U.) for the national team championship.  That year, Soriano was 26-3 for the 9-1 Lions during the regular season and I.F.A. sabre champion.  He began fencing at Essex Catholic H.S. in New Jersey, where he was a three-letter winner and state champion (1968).  Soriano also won the Michigan State “Sabreur of the Year” trophy three times 

The History of Essex Catholic Fencing has been added to an on-line site:

E C Fencing Alumni

This web site is managed by Nicholas Franzi. 


 ESSEX CATHOLIC 2014 33rd Annual Dinner

Hall of Fame Induction

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Class of 1964,
the 40th Anniversary of the Class of 1974
and the 2014 inductees and special honorees listed below!


Friday November 21, 2014

The Chandelier
Belleville, NJ

RSVP 2014 Annual Dinner 


Don't forget to place your congratulatory notes in the ad journal or to reserve your advanced raffle tickets to win 1 of two fabulous time shares in Mexico or Atlantic City!


2014 Hall of Fame Inductees:

Steve McCabe '64
Kevin McGrath '72
James Foti '74
Colonel Walter Alvarado '81
Charlie Dowd '67 (posthumously)

We need your help.

If anyone knows how to contact any family members of Charlie Dowd, please contact Maureen (973-882-8275)

so that we can inform them of his induction.


2014 Annual Dinner Special Honorees:
All Championship Fencing Team Members
1964 State Champion Cross Country Team
Project 300 Members


We are looking for additional alumni that have participated in any of the above groups. If you are, or know of, any that have not yet been contacted, please contact Maureen

Essex Catholic Alumni Dinner 2014
To reserve your place at our Annual Dinner, please complete the attached form and return to Maureen via or call Maureen at (973) 882-8275 or fax your reservation to (973) 882-1650.
RSVP Form 2014.doc
Microsoft Word document [455.5 KB]

Stephen D. Sullivan, (Class of 1963), a Georgetown University basketball great, MVP on European teams, grew up in East Orange, 68 Stephen D. Sullivan, 68, formerly of East Orange, N.J., peacefully passed after a long illness in London, UK, at Trinity Hospice on Aug. 27, 2014, surrounded by his family. Steve was born in Newark, N.J., raised in East Orange, and lived for the past 45 years in Spain, Italy, and London. Steve attended Essex Catholic High School and Georgetown University where he excelled in basketball and was one of their all-time greats and voted as one of Georgetown's top 35 greatest players.

He was a member of the USA Gold Medal basketball teams of the 1968 Pan Am games and World Games. He was a top draft choice of the NBA Detroit Pistons and ABA Pittsburgh Pipers. He spent nine years professionally playing in Europe and received numerous MVP awards. After his basketball career, Steve was active in his European import and export business.


For additional Information, please click on this button

This past week, the Essex Catholic brotherhood lost a close friend and brother Eric Lewis (Class of 1985). At Essex, Eric lettered in Basketball including the captaincy his senior year. Beloved by his classmates and eager to maintain enduring friendships thorough all these years, Eric leaves a large void in the lives of both friends and family.


Eric Lewis' funeral will be held @ Christian Love Church on Lyons Ave, Irvington on Saturday,  Sept. 6th @ 10am. Repass at Knobby' s Tavern.


Rest in peace my Essex brother and may the Spirit of the Eagle shine brightly in your honor.

The Gathering of Friends of St. Cecilia, Kearny, and Essex Catholic High Schools.


Day/Date: Saturday, September 27th, 2014 (Last Saturday in September)

Time: 2 PM until 6 PM

Location: Kearny Scots Club, 40 Paterson St.

Cost: $20.


Robert "Bob" R. Roszko (Class of 1966) age 65 of Wanaque, formerly of Wayne, died peacefully on Saturday, April 26, 2014. He was born and raised in Newark and lived in Irvington;afterwards, Bob graduated from Montclair State College in Montclair with a Bachelors degree in Education with an emphasis on Business subjects in 1970. He later continued his education at Montclair State having received his Masters Degree in Geography.

It was during his years at Montclair State College that Bob met Lois by chance in the cafeteria. Bob had a job filling vending machines and the two hit it off. Their first date was to the movies and then a trip to the West's Diner in Little Falls. Bob proposed marriage on the campus of Montclair State College and they married on November 16, 1968 at Saint George's Church in Paterson. They had a family style reception dinner at the Brownstone House in Paterson and honeymooned at the Split Rock Lodge in the Poconos. Bob and Lois had forty-five years of a loving and caring marriage. After college he worked as a teacher at Hackensack High School for over twenty years before retiring in 1991. Bob loved fishing for trout and bass in streams and lakes; he loved to spend opening day at his favorite fishing spot in Califon's South Branch.


For additional information, please click on this button

Pablo Cabrera (Class of 1976), 56, of Westminster, died Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at Carroll Hospital Center. Born March 20, 1958 in Newark, NJ, he was the son of Rita O. Diaz Cabrera and Pablo D. Cabrera, of Newark, NJ. Survived by his wife, Joanne Balsamo Newman Cabrera.He graduated from Essex Catholic High School in Newark, NJ in 1976 and attended Rutgers.

He was employed by Trailblazer and Arbitron in quality control. He enjoyed fishing, karaoke, joke books, photography and watching jeopardy. He was an artist, a jokester and New York Giants fan. In addition to his wife, he is survived by children Andres Cabrera of Catonsville, Nicholas Newman of Westminster and Emily Newman of Westminster and Elaine Anderson.


For more information, please click on this button

Shaka Kent Davis (freshman at Essex Catholic in 2003) died on Friday, August 16, 2013.  Although he graduated from Bonner High School in North Carolina, Shaka was a tried- and-true Jersey boy.  He attended Heywood Elementary School, St. Benedict’s Middle School, Bishop Francis Essex Catholic High School, and Berkeley College where he majored in Computer Science.  It was at Essex Catholic, however, where Shaka discovered his love of and talent for speed.  As a freshman, he set new school records for both the 100-meter and 200-meter races and his team won the Division Championship for the Parochial School Division B Outdoor Track in 2003.

And yet, his competitive edge was not for the track alone.  Shaka would spend many an evening sharing his other favorite pastime, video games, with his friends and family.  He always had the latest gear and games, and almost always outplayed and outwitted those who challenged him.  Gone too soon at the young age of 26, he leaves behind many timeless memories and loved ones. Right before his passing, Shaka’s fulfilled his lifelong dream by purchasing and driving his first motorcycle.  We know that he is out there, with a big smile and some flashy sunglasses on his face, having the ride of his life.

Stephen E. Becker (Class of 1970) died Sunday evening, June 1st 2014, at his home after a brief illness. Born Nov. 7, 1952, in East Orange, N.J., son of the late Edward and Mary Connors Becker, Stephen was a graduate of Essex Catholic High School and attended Rutgers University. Stephen made his career as a musician. He traveled around the world as the drummer for Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.


For more information, please click on this button:

John P. Flannery (Class of 1966), died on  March 20, 2014, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer at Regional Hospital of Scranton. He was the husband of the former Linda Ghigiarelli. The couple had been married for 37 years.

Born in Newark, N.J., he was a son of the late Curtis and Mary Pohorilak Flannery. He was a graduate of Essex Catholic High School, Newark, and received his bachelor's degree in engineering from Newark College of Engineering.


He was a loving husband, father and friend. He loved spending time with his family and friends, especially traveling with his wife, Linda. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.


For more information, please click on this button:

Frank R. Farrant Sr. (Class of 1963), died on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at home surrounded by his loving family. Born in East Orange, Frank had lived and was raised in Newark before moving to Toms River in 1971. He was a graduate of Essex Catholic High School and Ocean County College. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves, serving from 1969-1982, out of Ft. Sill, Ft. Benning, & Ft. Hancock, attaining the rank of SGT First Class. Frank had worked as a biomedical electronic technician for 35 years with Princeton Medical Center, Jersey City Medical Center, St. Francis Medical Center, UMDNJ-Newark, Christ Hospital, and had finished his career at Rahway Hospital, working for GE Medical Services, retiring in 2007. He was a former Cub Scout Leader and former Scout Master of Pack & Troop 92, Toms River. He was an active member and parishioner of St. Justin's Church, Toms River, having served as an usher, lector, Eucharistic Minister, CCD teacher, Mass Coordinator, and former member of their Holy Name Society. Frank also was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 4969, Toms River. Frank also loved to tell stories about his life, whether it was from growing up in Newark, summering in Toms River, or while he was serving in the Army.


For more information, please click on this button:


Received an email from Bob Manning (Class of 1965) asking about a LOGIN for this site. There is no login since this website serves all Essex Catholic Alumni. As always we are proud to receive feedback from our great alumni and hope that Mr. Manning and all of the Class of 1965 continue to enjoy the posts on this site. As a tribute to Bob Mannings continued support of Essex Catholic, I have attached his graduation picture from the Talon'65.


Bob Manning's email:

Class of 1984 Reunion


On Saturday, April 26th, 16 memebrs of the Class of 1984 gathered at McGovern's Tavern to celebrate our 30th Year reunion. Although many had indicated that they would come, I am extremely gratefully to those of my class who attended the celebration. In attendence: Sean McGovern, Ed Chafart, Rob Sierra, John Alfano, Tom Cometa, Sean St. Paul, Victor Montijo, John Meyer, Chris Gahl, Ricardo Gonzalez, Rob Meier, Louis Fleurizard, Jose VIgario, Steve Gomez, Tony Rodgers and Mike Toal.


We had great night remebering our common past, talking about our life-long journey and looking back with fond memories of our time together. Every man agreed that Essex Catholic was our home and each of us felt the love of that unites our brotherhood.


Till next year, Eddie Chafart'84

Michael E. Melody, (Class of 1974) passed away on Feb. 15, 2014.


Born in Newark, N.J., Mr. Melody was raised in Irvington, N.J., before moving to Brick. He retired as an Essex County corrections officer after 26 years of service.  Mr. Melody was proud of his Irish-American heritage and was named the Law Enforcement Officer honoree for the 2012 Essex County Police and Fire Kick-Off to the St. Paddy's Day benefit.


He was a member of PBA Local 382, the Essex County Police and Fire Emerald Society, the Irvington PAL, the Essex Catholic High School Alumni Association, the Neumann University Baseball Diamond Club, and the Essex County Retired Police and Fire Association. Mr. Melody was a communicant at the R.C. Church of the Epiphany in Brick.


For more information, please click on this button



Raymond James McDonough (Class of 1967) , mayor of Harrison, N.J., died suddenly on Feb. 12, 2014, in the Harrison Town Hall. He was 65 years of age.


A lifelong resident of Harrison, Mayor McDonough was born on Feb. 2, 1949, to Raymond J. McDonough Sr., and Marie Young McDonough. He attended Holy Cross School and Essex Catholic High School. He worked as a member of Plumbers Local No. 24 for 33 years, as well as with the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. He was a commissioner of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, a position to which he was appointed by the governor. He was a member of Harrison East Newark Elks B.P.O.E. No. 2326 and the Knights of Columbus No. 402 Harrison. Before becoming mayor in 2005, Mayor McDonough served on the Harrison Town Council for 17 years. His life of service focused on the needs and the development of the town of Harrison and the needs of the citizens, whom he served faithfully during his terms of office.


For more information, please refer to the link below:

In terms of Essex Catholic, our glorious high school only existed a short period of time; however, the rich history speaks out LOUD, long after our doors closed.


For the small Ecuadorian community that existed in Newark back in the 1970's, 80's and 90's, Essex Catholic became a symbol of opportunity and acceptance, it all started with Fausto Moyano'71 and continued with his brother Marcelo'76 (ECHS HoFer).


Along the way, their accomplishments allowed many in the Ecuadorian community to believe in a better life. After came the Vacacela brothers (Guido'79 and Julio'81), continued with the Alvarado brothers (Walter'81 and Juan'83). Also, they opened the doors for many of us including: Carlos Mancheno'79, Mario Chiluisa'83, the Viteri Brothers (Carlos'83 and Roy'84), myself (Ed Chafart'84), Steve Gomez'84, Juan Castillo'84, Tony Moran'84, the Acosta brothers (Ed'86 and Marlon'88), the Chafar brothers (Albert'86 and Joey'88) and many more......


Essex Catholic lives in our hearts and the EAGLE will soar forever.